Just the Way You Left It

January 11, 2007 at 1:08 pm (Surrealist Anthology)

I thank everyone for the kind comments I have received on my recent ‘Winter’ series and my account of the ‘Lost Poets’. Recently while browsing my library, I came across this collection of seven short pieces by Erich Cohn that were published in the Surrealist journal Sturmvasser in Vienna in 1937. I have tentatively translated them into English and although more time would allow for a more polished presentation, in light of certain considerations, I decided to bring them to print quickly.
–Von Josti


Airplanes descend from the snow mountains of the South. I am walking along the beach looking for a path. There is a loud crash in the distance and the sound of chanting as if remote African tribes were camped just over the next dune. Once I reach the top I see the strewn pieces of glass and metal mixed with pages from unwritten books. There is a white schoolhouse with a young woman inside giving lessons to my grandparents. I would like to bring them the books from the airplane but the pages are all blowing in the wind now, blowing over the cliffs into the lake. Behind me blue ghosts flutter as I walk along the edge between the sand and the water, wind blowing in my face. If I could just reach the schoolhouse which hovers quietly in the distance, fading in and out amid sudden flurries of cold white snow, I would tell her: It’s all there–just the way you left it.

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